Safaricom has brought back the reverse calls that was a big deal back in the 90s. Reverse calls used to come in handy in the days of fixed lines that were only for the rich. Poor youths like me would call parents’ offices via reverse call as the only option one would get a connection.
This involved having a phone number either memorized or written down, then you call the operator number to make the request. Operator would then call the number themselves to make known your request, if it was approved you would be connected.
Telephone calls were expensive then.
Enter mobile phones and there was a transition. If you had little airtime you would flash someone and they would call back. Much easier. Please call me USSD code came and things even easier allowing subscribers to dial a code and recipients gets a message with a request to call back.
The next phase involved emergency credit product dubbed Okoa jahazi by Safaricom. One could call on credit, with interest! This sounds funny now. 😄 But it saved people some embarrassment. It was extended to bring in some call continuity, where you could opt in to the credit credit (the first credit is for airtime 😄). With this you have a limit for the amount of airtime debt you get, and the call doesn’t get disconnected when you run out of airtime.
With all these options available, Safaricom still brought back reverse calls into 2019. How this works is you just add a # before the phone number you’re dialing. They will then get the call, but first hear a voice prompt alerting them that they will be billed for the call at the normal call rates. There is the option to press 1 to accept or 2 to decline the reverse call. This is active right now but naturally won’t work if the person being called lacks airtime.